Part two of two. The second vampire book I read over the weekend was Frostbite by Richelle Mead. This is the second book in her hugely popular Vampire Academy series. I enjoyed this book, even though it was weaker that the first book. I plan on reading the whole series though, so this book was not bad enough to keep me from reading the other ones. I just want to warn you that the world of Vampire Academy is insanely complicated. It took me about 50-100 pages of the first book to really figure out what was going on. I will try to break it down as concisely as possible. I have a tendency to ramble and be too verbose, I apologize in advance.
The book is about Rose Hathaway she is in this high school and is training to be a Guardian. There are three kinds of vampires in this world
Moroi – full blooded vamps, they drink blood and need to in order to survive but they are good, can go in the sunlight (even though it weakens them) and they can do magic based on one of the four elements. They are the leaders of this vampire society, many of them are Russian-y and there are 12 royal families. Its a very uptight upper crusty world.
Strigoi- evil bad vampires. They drink blood to survive and to kill. They are super strong, super fast and super evil. If you are bitten and drink their blood as a human, dhampir or moroi you become Strigoi. If you are Moroi and drink someone's blood and kill them, you become Strigoi. They can't do magic or go in the unlight at all. They also like to kill Moroi.
Dhampir – These are half vampires. They don't drink blood, but have increased strength, hearing vision etc. Dhampirs are traditionally Guardians. Bodyguards that are trained to protect Moroi from Strigoi. It's a weird class system because Dhampirs are definitely more like servants but they are vital to this weird vampire society. Rose is a Dhampirs. It gets even more complicated because two Dhampirs can't have children but Moroi+Dhampir =Dhampir and Human+ Moroi= Dhampir. There is also a lot of baggage attached to being a female Dhampir because there aren't many female guardians. A lot of uppercrusty Moroi men will sleep with Dhampir women and beget Dhampir children off of them. There is also this weird concept where Dhampir women let Moroi feed from them and it's this very sexual kinky fetish thing. But it's also really looked down on and Dhampir women who do this are called “blood whores.”
There is even more stuff but I think that is the basics. Rose is best friends with Lissa who is Moroi, a royal and the vamp who Rose is going to serve as guardian to. It's also crazy because they have this weird psychic connection where Rose can slip into Lissa's head. They go to St Vladamir's which is the Vampire Academy of the series. Rose is supposed to go to one of her final tests to be a Guardian. She goes with her mentor and fellow guardian Dimitri. Rose is in love with him, and he's into her. But it's forbidden for Guardians to be together because they would be making out instead of protecting their charge. They go out to this big royal estate for her test but no one is there because there has been a Strigoi attack and everyone is dead. This colors the rest of the book because the kids all go up to some fancy Moroi ski resort which is where the final drama of the book happens.
I can't really write too much about this book because it is VERY much a sequel novel. Rose is still dealing with the events from the first book. Her bff Lissa and Lissa's new bf. Rose is still dealing with her feelings for Dimitri and the conflict she has with her mother who sort of abandoned her at a young age to the school. (It's a super fancy boarding school in Montana)
Once you understand the world it becomes really engrossing. I think that is what I like about the series. I also love Rose. She is a total badass. She is top of her fighting classes and is an awesome warrior woman. I love that she can beat people up. I also love that she is sexy and is known for being a bit loose, but she's still a virgin. She is sexual, but not a slut which I think is a really great description to make. Too often a woman is either a Saint or a Whore. Its nice to see a teenage character who acknowledges her sexual feelings without needing to act like Samantha from Sex and the City. She also has this relationship with Lissa. They are best friends but they still fight. There are parts of each other's lives that the other one doesn't understand. It is a very human and complicated relationship. Rose is totally loyal to Lissa and vice versa, but it doesn't mean that they don't have problems. If anything Rose is jealous of Lissa's boyfriend. According to convention this would mean that Rose is sexually/romantically interested in Lissa. But that is not the case. She is just jealous that another person now has such an intimate relationship with someone who Rose had had an intimate relationship with. I think it's a very complex relationship they have and that it's very true to real life and real girls relationships. Either way I would suggest reading this series. There is also a great review of it on io9.com which is where I heard about it.
You can buy it here